Navigating COVID-19 and Beyond: Bizzell’s Response to Pandemics and Emerging Global Health Challenges

By Editorial Staff

As we enter 2024, our thoughts are filled with hope, new goals, and resolutions for the new year. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 has followed us all into 2024. The U.S. faces a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide as we have returned to the office work, and school. The result? Infection rates are just as high as last year’s around the same time. JN1 is the most prominent COVID-19 variant and has evolved to be more resistant to vaccination, and more resistant to natural immune responses of those previously infected with COVID-19[1]

There are many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones even as the virus continues to evolve. Many protocols set during the height of the pandemic to keep individuals and communities safe are still applicable today. These protocols include staying up to date with vaccinations, washing hands frequently with soap and water, wearing a facemask when in public settings, and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Immunocompromised individuals should still limit travel to places with large crowds. Everyone should continue to stay up current on local and state guidelines and guidelines and continue to disinfect widely used items such as phones, laptops, and doorknobs[2] We must all do what we can to keep each other safe on an individual and community level.

On a national level and beyond the current COVID-19 crisis, Bizzell US continues to lead healthcare innovation with a forward-thinking stance. Investments in research, technology, and partnerships reflect our organization’s commitment to enhancing global health resilience. On an international level, currently, Bizzell supports COVID-19 efforts in Thailand, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries through partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Central American Regional (CAR) Office. Bizzell provides technical assistance focusing on surveillance, infection prevention and control, border health, community mitigation, laboratory strengthening, and vaccine preparedness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated a path to solving complex emerging health threats. The insight gained through the pandemic will be invaluable in the future, especially in the realm of emergency preparedness. The pandemic continues to highlight the need for resilience and adaptive capacity, global solidarity, collaboration, and the importance of remote and digital infrastructure. We have consistently emphasized to national leaders the significance of bolstering healthcare preparedness and strengthening healthcare systems. As a leader in the healthcare sector, Bizzell prioritizes the need to strengthen hospital infrastructure and the healthcare workforce. Appropriate allocation of resources, both financial and personnel-based, will ensure readiness for future crises. Utilizing data and science as a strategy for decision-making will also continue to be crucial in shaping effective responses to health challenges.

In our collaboration with the CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection and Security, we have led many professional and technical services supporting global health mandates and security. We provided analytical support, performance monitoring, epidemiologic analysis, global health investments and economic costing studies, return on investment analyses, and statistical and econometric support. Investing in scientific research and valuing expert opinions, such as our Bizzell consultants, are critical for navigating the continued complexities of the pandemic. One such consultant is Nancy Bateman, MSW, a Senior Public Health Advisor for Behavioral Health Services at Bizzell. As one of our senior public health leaders, she has developed whitepapers and other resources discussing the impacts of trauma, trauma informed care, and COVID-19 on a changing Healthcare landscape. Her work, “Engaging Patients through Trauma-Informed Care in the Age of COVID-19”, was featured in the October 2022 Behavioral Health Spotlight created by the Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC).

Bizzell’s preparedness extends beyond the immediate COVID-19 challenges, laying the foundation for a robust response to future health uncertainties. One way we pride ourselves in preparedness is through data sharing and collaboration. Collaboration is a cornerstone of Bizzell’s impactful health-centered response to emerging threats. Emphasizing the importance of working together with government agencies, healthcare institutions, and international organizations, we actively foster partnerships that contribute to a collective response against global health challenges.

Through our global partnerships, we have provided capacity-building training, partnership support, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), data collection, internal communication support, social media and analytics, communication product development, scientific writing, and policy coordination. This collaborative spirit amplifies the effectiveness of interventions and initiatives. As the pandemic unfolds, Bizzell will continue to drive global change through innovative health solutions and adapting to the ever-evolving health landscape.

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely impact healthcare systems on the local, national, and international levels. We at Bizzell believe in supporting strained healthcare systems, collaborating with appropriate organizations, contributing to crucial research efforts, and doing our part to respond to global health crises as they arise.